Strings in the earth and air
Make music sweet;
Strings by the river where
The willows meet.….
All softly playing,
With head to the music bent,
And fingers straying
Upon an instrument.
(From James Joyce’s Chamber Music)
Among the most unusual events of the week leading up to Bloomsday will be recitals by Ireland’s top classical guitarist John Feeley on the guitar once owned by James Joyce. Feeley will accompany Fran O’Rourke, singer, philosophy professor, and Joyce scholar, who recently sponsored the restoration of Joyce’s guitar. In the lunchtime recitals, Monday 11th – Friday 15th, hosted by University College at Newman House, O’Rourke and Feeley will perform Irish songs that feature in the Joyce’s writings. They will also perform Joyce’s favourite song, Un Rêve, in both French and Greek, never heard before in Ireland; Prof O’Rourke has managed to track down both versions.
The guitar owned and played by James Joyce dates from c. 1830.
It is widely known from a famous photograph taken in 1915 by Joyce’s friend Ottacaro Weiss in Zurich (https://joycefoundation.osu.edu/people/joyce-5). Joyce gave the instrument to his friend Paul Ruggiero in the late ’30s. Ruggiero donated it to the Joyce Museum in Sandycove in 1966. It was restored in March 2012 by renowned luthier Gary Southwell courtesy of facilities provided by the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks. The guitar is on loan from the Joyce Tower courtesy of the James Joyce Museum; it will be returned to Sandycove in time for the Bloomsday celebrations.
Lunchtime recitals by John Feeley and Fran O’Rourke with Joyce’s recently restored guitar. Newman House, 86 St Stephen’s Green, Monday 11 – Friday 15, 1.05 – 1.55 pm. €10 (www.joycesong.info).
For information on ticket sales see www.joycesong.info